Top 100 Alternative Search Engines list continue! The Name Inspector, a fun and interesting blog run by a PhD in Linguistics, has done a linguistic analysis of the 100 search engine names on the list. His conclusion is that "the search for search engine names has drawn on some creative linguistic strategies." The top 100 alt search engines (from February) fall into the following categories:The mashups of our
- Real words (23) - e.g. Sphere; sub-categories: Misspelled words - e.g. filangy (phalange ‘finger bone’); Foreign words - e.g. hakia (Finnish hakea ‘to fetch’)
- Compounds (20) - e.g. Dogpile
- Phrases (17) - e.g. liveplasma
- Blends (9) - e.g. collarity (collaborative + clarity)
- Made up or obscure origin (8) - e.g. onkosh (something derived from Arabic?)
- Tweaked words (7) - e.g. Clusty (cluster)
- Affixed words (6) - e.g. crossEngine
- Initials and acronyms (4) - e.g. Omgili (Oh my god, I love it!)
- Puns (3) - e.g. gnod (nod, n –> gnostic ‘relating to knowledge’)
- People’s names (3) - e.g. riya
In addition, The Name Inspector has identified some search engines names that belong to more than one category, which he labels "mashonyms". An example is Phrase + Misspelled Word + Domain Hack = alltha.at.
So now we've had a geographic analysis of the top 100 list and a linguistic one. Let us know of any other mashups out there - and don't forget there's also an excel spreadsheet version available for this purpose.